Government has hinted that it is open to partnerships to revive the fortunes of the ailing Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
According to the Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the nation’s only oil refinery will not be allowed to go down under any circumstances, as it not only plays a critical role in economic development but also provides employment and revenue to many stakeholders in the sector.
A recent debt-profiling study revealed that the refinery is grappling with mounting debts and tax liabilities threatening its survival. The board has contacted the sector minister and requested a US$130million bailout from government to revamp its operations.
Speaking at the swearing-in of a three-member Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the affairs of TOR after the sacking of the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director Francis Boateng and Ato Morrison, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said government is open to a partnership.
“We have to review and assess viable partnerships for TOR. It looks like TOR is in dire need of partnerships to help retool, modernise and expand its capacity, and I believe that people must be given the opportunity to see how they can help TOR come back to refining and return to the major role it plays in the country’s economy,” the minister said.
He also emphasised the need to find managerial infrastructure and equipment that will enable TOR to work as a strategic stakeholder in the oil and gas sector, and urged the IMC members to be diligent in their work and bring their rich experience to bear in discharging their mandate.
The Chairman of the three-member IMC is Nobert Anku, while other members are William Ntim Boadu and Okyere Baffuor Sarpong.
The minister also urged them to do a thorough financial and technical audit to determine the major challenges impeding progress of the company. “Please, do a good financial audit. Apart from that, if it is possible, do a technical audit to find out what is really wrong with the company and how we can get it in operation; and also conduct a human resource audit for us,” the minister said.